Lunch boxes with bite: which would suit your sarnies?

Lunch boxes with bite: One looks like a handbag, another like fine china – So which would suit your sarnies?

  • Tessa Cunningham gave her views on a selection of the latest lunch boxes
  • She says a packed lunch can help to cut cost and reduce packaging waste
  • She rated Foodbag by Compleat just 2/5 due to its small 5 x 6 inches size
  • Tessa rated Foodskin by Compleat 4/5 as it’s lightweight and fits in handbags 

Take a packed lunch and you’re likely to eat more healthily, throw away less packaging and save a fortune — or at least enough to invest in one of the stylish new lunch boxes, which do everything from keeping your food cool to serving up soup crudités…

BEST WOW FACTOR

Foodskin by Compleat, £20.55, novatus.eu/uk

Tessa Cunningham gave her verdict on a selection of the latest lunchboxes, she was impressed with Foodskin by Compleat (pictured) for its lightweight 

Whip out this swanky design and colleagues will never guess there’s a humble sandwich inside. Modelled on a laptop sleeve, it’s the lunch-box equivalent of a Paul Smith suit. The elastic silicone skin fits snugly around your food. When you’re done, it snaps back flat, saving valuable space in your briefcase. You can clean it in the dishwasher after removing the sleeve and even pop it in the microwave — in the open position. Available in a range of colours including purple, mint and blue.

VERDICT: It looks sensational but you’ll have to curb your appetite as it only fits two very thin slices of bread. I had to shave wedges off the sandwich I’d made using crusty homemade bread. But it’s lightweight and slim enough to fit in a handbag. 4/5


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PERFECT FOR PIZZA

Good2Go Pizza Container, £8.55, amazon.co.uk

Tessa says Good2Go Pizza Container (pictured) is a clever idea but only worth the investment if you eat a lot of leftover pizza 

If you can’t bear to waste leftovers, this triangular box could be for you. A ‘spork’ — fork one end, spoon the other — clips into the lid, and it’s microwavable. It’s easy to store, too, as it shrinks to less than a third of its original size when not in use.

VERDICT: A clever idea. But you’ll need to eat a lot of leftover pizza to make it worth the outlay. 2/5

BEST FOR HOT SNACKS

Rubbish Free Lunch Box from Nude Food Movers, £5, amazon.co.uk

Tessa recommends Rubbish Free Lunch Box from Nude Food Movers (pictured) for anyone who works on the move and wants to pack a meal to reheat 

Designed in Australia with a whopping 1,600ml capacity and measuring 12 x 6in, this is easily big enough for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The latches are super tough so there’s no chance of spillages. It even goes in the microwave so you can enjoy a hot snack.

VERDICT: Good for anyone who works on the move and needs to pack a heatable meal. But it’s so huge that, if I got this out at my desk, the entire office would think lunch was on me. 4/5

MOST STYLISH

Black and Blum Box Appetit, £19.95, black-blum.com

Tessa says Black and Blum Box Appetit (pictured) is bulky but perfect for people who prefer not to eat their lunch out of a plastic box

Designer Martin Blum got his inspiration from Japanese bento boxes, where food is put into separate compartments. This classy plastic bowl (below) is a dead ringer for china. There’s a slot-in lidded container for your side dish or pudding, and a dinky lidded box for dressing. The plastic fork even has one slightly flatter edge you can use to cut. A circular groove in the lid is perfect for filling with dipping sauce. It’s dishwasher and microwave safe.

VERDICT: If — like me — you long to eat your lunch out of anything but a plastic box, this is a great invention. The elegant bowl upgrades the most humble lunch. On the downside, it’s bulky and, annoyingly, on its second outing the sauce pot leaked. Getting vinaigrette on my skirt spoiled my lunch. 4/5

THE CHILL FACTOR

Sistema Chill It To Go, £8.99, amazon.co.uk

Tessa was unimpressed with Sistema Chill It To Go (pictured) as it was unable to keep her salad from going soggy

If you are sick of warm salad then this box, with an integral ice pack (right) is ideal. You fill the pack with water and freeze overnight, then slot into the lid to keep food cool for six hours. A pot for salad dressing fits into the ice pack and a plastic knife and fork slot in the lid.

VERDICT: You’ll need to make a huge salad to fill the 1.3l capacity. And, while the ice pack kept my Caesar salad beautifully chilled, it was disappointingly soggy. As the ice warmed up, condensation melted on the lettuce. 2/5

BEST FOR SOUP

Soup Mover, £6, amazon.co.uk

Tessa says Soup Mover (pictured) is great as a leakproof cup but can’t be put in the microwave

This crafty cup from Smash screws apart to provide two separate containers. Fill the 400ml cup with soup or stew, and pop croutons or rice in the lockable lid. When you are ready for lunch just remove the lid and put the cup in the microwave. A spoon clips into the side and a silicone side panel means it’s never too hot to hold.

VERDICT: The leakproof cup is great but a lid you can’t put in a microwave is a bit of a let-down. 3/5

DIET-SIZED

Foodbag by Compleat, £5, cocosa.co.uk

Tessa revealed the stylish Foodbag by Compleat (pictured) doesn’t have much space for foods other than a single sandwich 

When empty, this silicone bag looks exactly like my mum’s old swimcap from the Sixties. But I pop my sandwich inside, squeeze the top and roll it down, then snap the attached belt shut. Voila! Suddenly I have a lunchbox that looks like a snazzy handbag, and comes in a choice of colours.

It’s a great space saver, too. When I’m done, I simply roll the empty bag up like a sausage and stow in my handbag.

VERDICT: At just over 5 x 6in it’s only big enough for a single wafer-thin sandwich. If you’re on a diet or don’t mind starving to look stylish, this dainty bag could be for you. Personally, I was forced to buy a second sandwich from Pret. 2/5

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